POST TIME: 8 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Govt to set up learning centres for 60,000 Rohingya children
Harun Ur Rashid

Govt to set up learning centres
for 60,000 Rohingya children

The World Bank (WB) is going to give USD 25 million as grants to the government to set up learning centres for around 60,000 Rohingya children. The primary and mass education ministry and the WB signed an agreement in this regard on August 30. The project aims to engage the refugee children aged between six and 14 years in learning so that “they are not derailed” during their stay in Bangladesh. However, the ministry has demanded that half of the money (USD 12.5 million) will be used for the infrastructural development of the damaged schools in Cox’s Bazar district and other educational activities. The WB has agreed to the condition.

Now, the approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) will be taken following a meeting soon, ministry sources said. The learning framework regarding the medium of education, teaching methodology, recruitment of teachers and so on would be finalised soon, they added.

“We are getting USD 25 million from the WB as grants to set up learning centres for Rohingya children. But we have told the WB that half of the money has to be used for developing infrastructure for education in the host country. They have agreed to our condition and an agreement has been signed,” Md Gias Uddin Ahmed, additional secretary (development) of the ministry, told The Independent on Monday.

The official said that around 131 government-run primary schools were damaged in Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar because of the arrival of the displaced Rohingyas. “Part of the money will be spent on repairing the damaged schools and other educational facilities. Besides, some of the money will be used for the Reaching Out-of-School Children (ROCS) project to give a second chance to 90,000 Bangladeshi children to complete their primary education,” he added.

The ROSC project was scheduled to end this year, but it will be extended for the next two years, Ahmed said. Regarding the proposed learning centres for Rohingya children, Gias Uddin Ahmed said: “UNICEF will provide the teachers. The medium of teaching would be Burmese and English.” He also said the government will monitor all the learning centres. “If NGOs are engaged in the process, it has to be validated by the local administration to check that they don’t have any militant or insurgent links,” he added.